If you are lucky, you get 3 or 4 real, true, core shaking friends in your life.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple more.
I have learned certain things about friendship and the coming and going of people in your life. Not everyone you meet needs to involve a heavy and dramatic imprinting on one another. Not every friend of yours will serve you in all facets of your life. You cannot blame them for this. You can only communicate and enjoy your time together in the now.
My most lonely and depressed years so far in my short 28 (almost 29) years have been the ones where I had a slew of friends and we all were in each others business and nothing was deep and everything was petty and all I really was desperate for was a real connection. And so most of the connections I made in these moments were forced.
From 19 to 24 I had probably 10 different best friends.
How did I become this way?
I used to be so meaningful in my friendships. I never cared deeply what people thought of me, I cared what my friends thought and how they felt. That was natural to me.
And I really only had her, my high school girlfriend. She was my one and only. I had other friends, I had others that I really enjoyed spending time with and that made me feel good, but It was mostly always with her that I was “Tyler”.
She made me feel ok to dress how I wanted, listen to the music I wanted too, try things I wanted to try etc.
In my early 20’s I kinda got lost. I’d become more socially confident and thought I’d try the friendship circle world where everybody knows everybody but know one ever knows no one.
I was maybe 22 or 23 and I was dating this girl, who I brought home to my family, who I thought perhaps was the girl for me. I had a best friend, we had inside jokes and we’d take road trips and be wreckless and never sleep. I was in a band and it was my world but it also wasn’t really taking off and I thought in the back of my mind, maybe I should just settle down and have kids and a wife and a life like that.
Then there was the breakup I didn’t see coming and the best friend getting a girlfriend and starting his life and my band falling apart before my eyes.
It was the wake up I needed.
To that girlfriend: You were right, I never was going to love you like you needed me too.
To that best friend: You were right, I was crazy and I wanted everything to be a certain way, and really I was just living in another world, where I saw things a certain way and thought I was happy. I’m glad we’ve reconnected since and I only wish you greatness.
I was so deep in the dark ness of “what went wrong” and “why did I care so much” and “why did I try so hard” and that was when I realized the greatest friends I could have were right around me and nothing was forced and I didn’t have to try everyday to make it work.
To the girl that’s still around: Thank you for that night at Dennys and thank you for letting me use your apartment for refuge and thank you for summer 2007 and thank you for everything since.
To the boy that’s still around: Thank you for letting me move in, thank you for coming to my guacamole party and letting me use your computer so often and trusting me enough to let me in and for everything since. You’ve never been a third wheel to me.
So then I moved. I ran away again. Took my ball and ran home.
Me and Chris quit the band. Then we started it again two days later.
We took Elaine and Branden in and we started Neon Trees again. All of a sudden I was thrust back in to the town I grew up in, but I didn’t have all my art/punk/goth friends or my high school girlfriend. I had my band, And we did some stupid things, and I said stupid things to them and we treated each other strange because again, all we wanted was that deep connection. For us to all connect, for our band to connect to someone or something that could help it take off.
I shut out my old world. I was Tyler Glenn in the band. I lost love, and I didn’t want it. I wanted nothing to do with love.
A few years later we were signed and then we toured and we were gone all the time and we were thrust into this popular music culture and twittersphere and my facebook was full of people I didn’t know and I was this lost lonely boy trying to find who I really was on the road.
To the girl that I’ve known the longest: Thank you for being by my side on the road for so long. thank you for never judging me. Thank you for everything before and after. You saved me in those first years of this whole adventure.
To the girl I know the least: are you happy?
What I’m trying to say is, well, I’m not quite sure.
I think it’s safe to say sometimes I say too much.
But for whatever reason, I felt this latest stream of thought should be published on this world wide web for whomever to see.
I found myself on the stages and dirty rock clubs, under the lights and sweat and in front of a lot of you. I address you the reader now, because it seems as though most of you that come on my social pages are people that enjoy my band and my bands music.
To the fans that come to shows night after night: How do you afford this? Can I pay pal you back someday? You have become my security blankets when I have to walk out on a new stage in a new town.
To the fans that write me: I read you, I hear you and I’m grateful for you.
I have a new lease on life in the last year. I’m in a band that I would go see live if I wasn’t in it. I can afford my own place, when back in my most popular social circle days, I could barely afford Taco Bell. I had tons of friends that I barely knew and nothing to show for it.
I used to steal a lot in high school. A couple weeks ago a got a message from a girl I can barely remember asking for the 84 something dollars i took from her wallet. The old me when have come up with excuses. The real Tyler Glenn replied with a simple word: “Paypal”?
It’s funny because now the thought of stealing or lying to someone makes my blood boil.
To the girls and boys and loved ones I took things from when I was younger: It wasn’t you, It was my addictions.
To my bandmates who are my family away from family: When we stopped keeping score and started enjoying this ride, was when we really became a unit. I am in love with you.
To my creative anchors: I am my most emotionally raw when I’m around you. You’ve helped me produce what is carved on my inside. I am indebted to you’re trust.
There are things I still keep close to the chest. Skeletons that don’t need to be danced with anymore. There are threads sewn into me and the fabric that makes me. I know those threads and I know who I am now.
It is no one’s business who you are until you make it their business.
I have fashioned my life now to be open to love and goodness. I don’t have a zillion best friends. I never wanted them, really. I don’t expect every single person in my life to be my everything all of the time.
To the unexpected friend: I’m glad I met you. We’re radically different yet incredibly similar. Thank you for trusting me, thank you for forgiving me, thank you for your stories, thank you for you. You’ve told me it’s ok to be who and what I am, and I’ve never heard it clearer than when you’ve said it.
To the people that I’ve lost touch with, whether on purpose or by complete accident: I have been trying to call you. On any given night in the next month, you may hear from me again. I have a new phone number and I’m only calling to say hello, and wish you the best.
Tell the people that matter to you how much they matter. Respect the people in your life. From the ones you only work with to the ones you tell everything to. Don’t break the sanctity of trust. Learn to forgive.
I hope these things help you find yourself sooner than It’s taken me to find myself.
But trust me, In another few years I’ll probably write another one of these on how lost I was in my late 20’s.